Overview of Treatments
Evolution Physiotherapy excels in the treatment of pain and functional deficits that may result from physical injuries, orthopaedic surgery, motor vehicle accidents, or from unknown causes. All treatments are based upon scientific knowledge and experience, and every treatment plan is evidence-based, tailored to each client’s unique needs. For more detailed information on our post-operative rehabilitation and motor vehicle accident recovery programs, see our ‘specialty programs’ section.
The majority of treatment options address pain, movement problems, dysfunctions and/or physical limitations and all treatments include a strong education component so that clients better understand their problem and what they can do to advance their healing.
For further information on your treatment plan, see our blog post: ‘What should be included in YOUR rehabilitation plan?’
Evolution Physiotherapy offers the following treatment options: education (including pain education), manual therapy treatment, active release techniques (ART) soft tissue treatment, exercise prescription, dry needling, neurodynamics, and modalities, (read below for further information on these options).
Client education is one of the most important, but overlooked, aspects of treatment. It can include activity modification, training modifications, explanations of individual client tolerance, capacity, tissue homeostasis, and prognosis for recovery.
Pain education is an extremely powerful tool. New research indicates that pain education can be more powerful that opioid medication in reducing chronic pain. Evolution Physiotherapy has been working hard over the past 2 years to incorporate this exciting tool into our practice.
The following video provides a short introduction into the complex mechanism of pain in our brain.
Understanding pain in less than 5 minutes
The following paragraph is a brief summary of the video.
Pain comes from the brain, and it can be retrained. Chronic pain is a complex problem which requires a structured approach and a plan (this is where we can help). Pain can have a big impact on your mood and stress levels. When you have pain for an extended time, your nerves become very sensitive, ‘wound up’, and can increase your pain levels. You can learn ways to ‘wind down’ the nervous system and reduce your pain. Key components of a thorough pain rehabilitation program include:
- Changing thoughts, beliefs and emotions related to pain, as they affect the stress on your brain and nervous system. This requires help with your personal pain story.
- Physical activity and function
- Diet and lifestyle. What we eat and how we live can contribute to a sensitive nervous system.
A second video is here:
Understanding Pain, Brainman chooses
Manual Therapy Treatment
Manual therapy techniques can be applied to the joint, and are used to improve joint mobility. The techniques may also affect muscle tone and pain. They include specific mobilization, manipulation, and Mulligan techniques.
Active Release Techniques (ART)
ART is a patented, state of the art soft tissue system/movement based massage technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. Many of these problems are the result of overused muscles.
Soft Tissue Treatment
Soft tissue treatment techniques are used to improve muscle length by reducing muscle tone/tension, breaking adhesions/scar tissue, and stimulating the healing response. Treatment techniques include deep transverse frictions, deep tissue massage, cupping, and myofascial techniques.
Appropriate exercise prescription is a critical skill in rehabilitation. Exercises can be prescribed to aid in rehabilitation from an injury, to address pain, to improve tissue healing, to improve mobility, stability, strength, power, motor control, and proprioception. There are thousands of different exercises to choose from, depending on the goals and objectives of our clients (pain reduction, tissue healing, functional restoration, injury prevention, performance improvement). All of our exercises have been designed with a great deal of thought towards their purpose (mobility, stability, strength, motor control, etc) and include detailed technique points and coaching cues. They are all categorized into a 4 x 4 matrix to facilitate appropriate progressions and regressions.
It is our job to help all of our clients understand the purpose of their exercise plan, and how their individual exercises can be beneficial to their goal achievement.
Home exercises should be simple to perform, require very little equipment, and be well coached. Coaching exercises requires a good description of the exercise (including the purpose), good demonstration, good coaching, and good feedback on technique. All of our home exercises are reinforced by providing a custom exercise sheet with detailed pictures and descriptions. If you have trouble finding time to perform the exercises, discuss this with your physiotherapists. We have solutions to help with many of the barriers to performing an exercise program (motivation, time, resources, etc).
Dry needling is a treatment technique that uses acupuncture needles (small filament-type needles) to reduce the tension/tone in tight muscles. This results in reduced muscle pain and dysfunction, and stimulates a healing response in the muscle treated.
Dry needling is an effective treatment for chronic pain of neuropathic origin, with very few side effects.
Neurodynamic exercises address limitations in the mobility of the nervous system, including the spinal cord, nerve roots and peripheral nerves. In some cases, it is not the joints, muscles, ligaments, or tendons that are restricted – it is the nerves themselves.
Physiotherapy modalities include: electrical muscle stimulation, heat packs, ice packs, interferential current (IFC), and ultrasound.